Thunder bolter signs on for two more

Sydney Thunder secures WBBL team leading wicket-taker for a further two seasons.

Sydney Thunder have secured the services of their Rebel WBBL-leading wicket-taker for a further two seasons, signing former Australia right-arm quick Rene Farrell.

Farrell led all comers in the inaugural WBBL season with 26 wickets, and followed up with a solid 11 scalps last summer.

The 30-year-old Lend Lease NSW Breaker also became just the second player to take a five-wicket haul in the England Super League earlier this year, snaring a match-winning 5-26 for Surrey Stars.

Mel Jones previews WBBL|03: Sydney Thunder

"I'd love to be leading wicket-taker of WBBL|03," Farrell said.

"However, if I can bowl in partnership with the likes of Nic Carey, Belinda Vakarewa and Maisy Gibson, and they are picking up the wickets, I think the Sydney Thunder will be travelling well.

"Playing under captain Alex Blackwell – who in my mind is one of the best captains in the world – and having class coaches such as Joanne Broadbent and Dom Thornely is really exciting and I can't wait to see where they can take this group."

Sydney Thunder general manager Lee Germon holds Farrell in such high regard that he said she was "unlucky" not to be playing international cricket.

"She showed in the Kia Super League and the WNCL that she is one of the form pace bowlers in the country," he said.

"She is experienced, with very good match awareness and variations, and is a wicket-taker. This is vital to our team as taking wickets is the key to restricting opposition teams in this format of our game.

"She is a very useful allrounder, being more than handy with the bat.

"Rene will, no doubt, spearhead our attack and provide outstanding support and leadership to the bowling group.  I am very pleased that she has committed for another two seasons to us."

Rene Farrell ready to send down a delivery // Getty
Rene Farrell ready to send down a delivery // Getty

Farrell’s resigning means there is just one player on the Thunders’ 15-player squad yet to be announced ahead of WBBL|03’s Opening Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

The Thunder have a host of exciting new faces in their ranks this summer, including former Melbourne Renegades captain and New Zealand international Rachel Priest, mature-age recruit Lisa Griffith and exciting young talents Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Darlington and Hannah Trethewy.

Alex Blackwell will again captain the team, which features fellow internationals Rachael Haynes – who captained Australia in regular skipper Meg Lanning’s absence during the Women’s Ashes – and India star Harmanpreet Kaur, who impressed in her first WBBL season in 2016-17.

Current Thunder squad: Alex Blackwell (C), Sam Bates, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffiths, Rachael Haynes, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Rene Farrell, Harmanpreet Kaur, Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Trethewy, Belinda Vakarewa